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Crash Pilot Receives Key to the City

Friday, January 16, 2009

Mayor Bloomberg is among those calling Captain Chesley Sullenberger a hero, for safely landing a US Airways passenger jet in the Hudson River yesterday. At a ceremony at the Blue Room in City Hall, Bloomberg held up a Key to the City.

BLOOMBERG: And I’m going to hold onto it until we have the opportunity to present it to the incredibly brave pilot, copilot and the crew of US Airways Flight 1549.

REPORTER: The mayor says the crew isn't available yet to receive official accolades, because members are being interviewed by federal aviation investigators. But others who assisted in rescuing the passengers were. Mayor Bloomberg gave certificates of appreciation to police divers, fire fighters, emergency services officials, the Coast Guard and the harbor master of New York Waterway, the first ferry to get to the plane. US Airways CEO Doug Parker says the crew also extends its appreciation.

PARKER: I'm honored to, on their behalf, thank all of you for what you did for our crews, and for our passengers and for their families. It’s a truly remarkable achievement.

REPORTER: New York Waterway ferry captain Vincent Loucante says the highlight of his day yesterday was helping to rescue an infant and a small child from a life raft:

LOUCANTE: We brought them onto the boat. They were nice and calm. They got up to the second deck of the ferry where it is warmest and they started to cry, which was the best sound we could hear. Everybody had smiles.

REPORTER: The National Transportation Safety Board says the left engine of the plane is missing. It's not clear if the right engine is missing, too, because that side of the plane is submerged. The plane is anchored off Battery Park City. Officials have a crane and barge at the ready to haul it out of the water. They say that maneuver is not going to happen today.

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